State of the Association
2009 Report of the President
By Tom Daniel
The masonry industry had another very successful legislative conference held in Washington DC, in which members of both MCAA and NCMA met with over 60 members of congress and their staff and had numerous members and agency representatives address our group on issues of importance to us.
The MCAA held its annual mid-year meeting in beautiful Park City Utah and realized near record attendance. In addition to our regular social events and business meetings, the MCAA introduced small tabletops for sponsors of our event. In yet another first, the MCAA hosted two educational programs, one on how to keep your company safe from immigration raids and another on pitfalls of contracts. The entire group enjoyed both presentations and members can expect to see a return of education programs in San Diego later this fall.
As an answer to the many firms seeking certification, the MCAA has partnered to offer over 80 new on-line courses on a variety of topics including OSHA 10 hour courses in both English and Spanish. These new courses can be found on the MCAA web-site and are all acceptable forms of education for credit towards certification. In addition to these on-line courses, the MCAA has seen an increase in course offerings around the country on a variety of different topics.
Another change to the MCAA website late this year included the addition of a career center. Employees can place resumes and search job openings from across the country and employers can place job postings and search the database of employees. It is a specialized service that is specific to the masonry industry and only masonry related jobs can be placed and only employees interested in work in our industry can place their resumes. This will be an excellent tool for both employers and job seekers as our economy rebounds and job creation begins again in the months ahead.
Early on in 2008, the MCAA became a party to a suit filed in San Francisco federal court against the Homeland security agency of the US. Our case was successful in getting a stay for the no match rule that was issued by the agency. It is believed that the final resolution of this case will be made in early 2009 and the rule will most likely be pulled back by the agency.
Masonry Design magazine was rolled out in 2008 and we saw the first 6 issues of this new publication created. The MCAA has supported the roll out of this magazine by giving Lionheart publishing (the owners of Masonry Design) seed money to start the magazine. The funds from this effort have come directly from the MCAA marketing fund which was developed utilizing the funds from a dues increase a few years back.
MasonrySystems.org is yet another endeavor supported by the MCAA. Funding for this important project was provided by our marketing committee with approval of $150,000 dollars from the marketing fund. MasonrySystems.org also obtained additional funding from other state and local groups and undertook a very large task to inventory and co-locate industry materials in one easy to find and use web-site. The site was rolled out and had a soft launch in late 2008. You can see demos of this site happening at the MCAA booth all week long. Later this year, there will be a major launch of the site to the design community.
While 2008 brought a significant downturn in our economy; your association is working hard to lessen the impact of that downturn by aggressively seeking to implement programs that will help grow our markets. The development of such things as Masonry Design, MasonrySystems.org and the introduction of Vision 2020, will poise our industry to take advantage of the opportunities that await us as the economy improves. I look forward to working with the MCAA leadership and our industry partners in meeting the challenges ahead. I want to thank all of you for your support and participation in the Mason Contractors Association of America and I will strive to make our industry and your businesses as successful as they can possibly be. We hope you have a great week and we thank you for being part of this important event.
Thank you very much!
About the Author
Tom Daniel, owner of GBC Concrete and Masonry Construction, Inc. in Lake Elsinore, Calif., has worked in the masonry industry since the 1980s. During that time, he has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry locally in California and on the national scale. Daniel spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2008-2010 and was the recipient of the 2011 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.